Thursday, April 30, 2009

Queen’s Day

Well it is a small world at times. I was on my way to meet up with a friend in the center of Amsterdam and was on my bike riding towards the center when I heard my name being yelled. It seems I had ridden right in front of a friend that was out celebrating Queen’s day. I locked up my bike and walked with Jeff and the group of people he was with. We made it to the start of Utrechtstraat and the first big crowd. The group I had joined headed into the crowd and that was the last I saw of the group.

Queen’s day for anyone that does not know about is to celebrate the Queen of Holland’s birthday. It does not really take place on the Queen’s birthday but rather on the Queen mother’s birthday. The Queen’s birthday falls in February so not the best time for a outdoor party. Queen’s Day is a national holiday and a really good excuses to have a big party. Amsterdam is a great place to be if you like beer and crowds but it is also import to not be scared to wear the color orange. The royal family in Holland are descendents from the House of Orange and orange is really the national color of Holland. Amsterdam and I think the entire country turns orange on Queen’s day.

This is a picture of Utrechtstraat a ways down from where I had lost my friend. I was not surprised to lose the group. I have never had a Queen’s day where we have managed to keep a group together. I was headed to meet another friend so once I looked for Jeff for awhile I finished the beer I had bought while I was looking, bought another and moved on.

Nick has a couple of children and his son Tom is currently suffering from a broken leg so they had given up on fighting through the crowds by the time I got close to where they were. I spent most of the rest of Queen’s day setting in the sun in front of Nick’s house enjoying beer, the sunshine and the good company.

I only took a couple of pictures this Queen’s day and none of them really special. On the way to Nick’s house I pasted by something I have talked a lot about and figured it was a good time to get a picture.

I have tried to describe this a number of times. The gray things on the left side of this picture are urinals. I think they are just a fantastic thing when you are in a place with much beer drinking. No waiting or having to pay to use the toilet as long as you are a guy. They are at a number of different places throughout the city and not in any sort of a special place just on the sidewalk. You can relieve yourself while having a conversation to anyone that is walking past. Now they just need to figure out some way for women to enjoy this luxury.

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